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August 2014

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The Disturbing Case Of Ashya King

By TLB Contributor: 

For the past week the media has been blasting out stories about Cancer patient Ashya King who was taken by the parents from the Southampton Hospital last Thursday. Their crime? This was done without the ‘Doctors permission’.  The hospital immediately contacted the police and a EU wide hunt for the family began after they went into hiding. The hospital was reporting that 5 year old Ashya, (who has a Meduloblastoma tumour – although this was ‘successfully’ recently operated on) that his life was ‘immediately’ in danger, that the battery operated feeding machine would ‘soon run out’ and that his life would be cut short if he did not return to hospital:

As seen online at BBC News

According to Ian Pople, a consultant neurosurgeon, the battery in the feeding machine used by Ashya can’t be changed easily.

It is integrated within the machine, much like an iPhone, and it means the machine has to be taken apart to replace the battery.

It’s also not designed to be run on batteries for a long period and is usually plugged into the mains.

In other words, it’s only battery-reliant for short periods, such as going to the toilet, or moving between wards.”

Reading these reports in the papers would make almost any reader think that they needed to bring him back immediately but many people knew there was more to this story that we weren’t being told. Pictures of the parents were quickly appearing on all TV news stations and in the papers which were edited to look like what I think is to appear like ‘mug shots’ to have the public already think these parents are criminals and being irresponsible and therefore to please help in the manhunt to find them.

The family were rumored to have escaped to France and the search was ramped up into an EU wide alert. 1 day ago, the father, Brett, posted a youtube video describing why they left the hospital and how Ashya’s health currently was. He also showed that the feeding machine was still connected to Ashya and working well. The boy certainly looked better in this video than photos have shown of him when he was in hospital. So it seems as if the Doctors wanted the public to think that these parents were going to harm Ashya’s life.

After watching this video for a few short minutes, its clear to see this father is no fool, nor is he an irresponsible parent. In fact, he has only been concerned about the Southampton Hospitals treatment for their son, and that is, him and his wife, were concerned with the sort of radiotherapy that would be used on Ashya. They were concerned it wasn’t the best type of treatment for his particular cancer. 

Brett, is very right to be concerned that the standard UK radiation therapy may do more harm than good to Ashya. Instead of targeting the actual tumour (or where it was in the brain before surgery) the radiation these oncologists want to use, would blast his entire head, essentially destroying healthy brain tissue and cells – which can often lead to permanent disability such as deafness & lack of cognitive skills – if the boy even survived the entire treatment.  

In a case that echoes Sally Roberts regarding her son Neon, who also went into hiding, the police found and removed her son – against the mothers wishes.  In Neon’s case, he only had one parent concerned about the standard cancer treatment, Sally, as Neon’s father Ben was on the doctors side and helped police intervene and find where Sally was hiding. She too had her face (and Neons) blasted all over the papers and Sally was branded by many as an ‘selfish irresponsible parent’.   I ended up getting in touch with Sally myself and I can tell you right now, she is FAR from a selfish irresponsible parent, in fact, I haven’t really met anyone more devoted to the health of their child than Sally had for Neon. Sally wanted her ex husband Ben to make sure Neon ate really good healthy organic food, drank green juices, and took many proven natural remedies to help boost Neons immune system cope with the assault from the toxic chemo and radiation, yet she was painted out to be a ‘health nut’ which is very typical of the medical system.  They don’t want people thinking that food cures illness.

Sally was a target for abuse because she was going against the system – questioning the safety and efficiency of standardised cancer care, and this meant that she was threatening the entire cancer industry which is worth 500 billion in the USA alone.  Sally sadly lost her case in court, and was immediately issued a court order to not have care of Neon. This meant that he would be forced to go through his medical treatment and was not allowed to stay with his mother. As any parent knows, when your child is hurting you need to be with them and THEY want to be with you. To have removed Sally from his care, is criminal.  What will this alone do to Neon emotionally when he is older, will the internal scars from not being with his mother cause him untold harm too?

Neon and Sally in the middle of his treatment 

I ended up meeting Neon when he was in the middle of his treatment  and I will tell you this – I will NEVER EVER forget seeing what he looked like. I was speechless. This poor child resembled a ghost, so pale and thin, and bent over from the damaging effects of the treatment. I also wont ever forget the haunted look I saw in his eyes – an innocent soul being destroyed by this treatment where he would often beg his mum ‘to please stop this mummy’

As read in NZ New Idea Sally explained:

As Neon dealt with debilitating side effects such as nausea and exhaustion, Sally tried to explain to him what was happening. ‘How strange for a child to have to understand that when you go in for treatment you feel all right, and then every time afterwards you get really ill. Every time we had to go to the hospital he would be in tears.’

Kids are very intuitive, and Neon knew that this treatment wasn’t good. Sally too, wanted whats best for her son, and that was another type of treatment which is exactly what the King family want for Ashya.

Brett wants Ashya to have the Proton Beam therapy treatment (that can cost between US 100,000 – 200,000 ) which is statistically proven to be FAR safer and much more effective than the regular radiation treatment. Brett brought this up with Ashya’s Doctors that they wanted to try this therapy and he was immediately shot down and threatened with ‘if you keep questioning us we will take your son away from your care’ . Now as a parent myself who only wants the best for my child, if I were faced with this situation, and was told that I couldn’t have the better therapy (even if I was prepared to get the funds together myself like Brett was trying to do) I would leave and escape with my child too.  Cancer is a serious disease and its also a serious business. There is much at stake and the most important thing for the cancer industry is for people to never question what they are doing. In the 1920’s there was a new act put into law and that is the ‘Cancer Act of 1939′ which inhibits anyone from saying that there are other cures for cancer other than radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Isn’t that a strange act to put into place. Surely there are other cures for cancer? Hell yes there are  – but our medical system don’t want you to know about them and its been this way since the early 1920’s.  If are you curious, have a read about the Top 7 Cancer treatments that have been buried by the Governments

Ashya has now been found, and in the care of a hospital somewhere in Europe, the parents have been arrested although no one knows what for although some reports are saying ‘child neglect and endagnerment.

Who knows what will now happen but I am thinking it will be more likely this: The parents will go to court with a legal battle ensuing.  They will probably lose (as is always the case as far as I am aware) and Ashya will be forced to have this bog standard unsafe and ineffective treatment with the parents being removed from his care. This is what the Doctors want and when Doctors want something to be enforced – and they can do it.  They are a law of their own.  This sort of stuff’s been happening for years, Doctors can ‘section’ people if they want to for mental health reasons and put people in mental hospitals which can often be a lot like jail. You can’t get in if you aren’t allowed and you certainly can’t get out unless you are allowed.

A shocking case of what can happen to a family when the Doctors don’t want to listen to the parents wishes is of Justina Pelletier, a girl that was removed from her parents care for an entire YEAR. Justina’s parents had a previous diagnosis from other Doctors which they believed, but the Boston children’s hospital thought she had something very different and forced her to take medication that seemed to be really harming her (which you can see in her after photos)

Justina’s case is clearly barbaric and the parents were even threatened when they mentioned going to the press. They still went ahead in any case (thank goodness) but it was a very long fight to get Justina back into their care. I believe it only came about BECAUSE they went to the press. Parents have to fight, to spread awareness about what is going on.   Most parents want whats best for their children, and in the days where we have so much information at our fingertips through the internet, this is wonderful for us parents but the medical community do not  like it one bit. They warn people off of ‘google medicine’ yet most medical journals are now entirely online, for all to see. Parents are having access to scientific studies about new treatments that are far more effective. Bravo to the King family for not taking ‘Doctor’s orders’ without looking into other methods of treatments. This family deserves our support,  you have to ask yourself, what if it were my child? What if I knew that the treatment they wanted to give my child was NOT the best and there were other proven treatments that were far safer and would mean my child had a far greater chance of survival.

Our world is fast turning into a police state and we must not let this happen. Once we give up our freedom, we have nothing left and before we know it, we will be forced to do everything the establishment says.


Just released at 10pm (UK) Sunday 2013 Ashyas brother films youtube video with evidence which may be used for them in court. The government/medical system have arrested his parents on ‘child cruelty’ this video going online before the trial proves that the family were very prepared in looking after him they had the same food and battery pack for Ashya’s feeding system. Naveed, Ashyas older brother also describes the father staying up late constantly researching on what was the best treatment for their son and mentions a brand new wheelchair the best on the market for Ashya

Please sign this petition support the Indiegogo campaign to help the King Family get better treatment (and possibly lawyers fees!) to fight for Ashya. 

Join the Facebook group to show your support

TLB recommends you visit Missecoglam for more great/pertinent articles and information.

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About the Author:

Ann Rodgers: I’m the founder of Missecoglam. I’m a writer for various travel magazines and am an internationally published author – with my first book Toxic World, Toxic People The Essential Guide to Health, Happiness & Parenting, Conscious Living. started as a blog back in 2009 but is now more focused on improving lives through better health, vaccine awareness, and better parenting. I’m passionate about helping others become more aware regarding the dangers of toxicity.

free-palestine 2


In face of rabid Israeli support for the indiscriminate slaughter of thousands within a mere few weeks, the first question to cross any rational-thinking mind is “How?”.

How is it that a people who were persecuted in Europe for centuries are now inflicting the same measure of horror upon others?

How do you effectively brainwash so many human beings to become incapable of guilt nor humanity?

How is it possible to breed unthinking, uncritical, and unquestioning people whom seek to justify every single act their government pursues?

Worse yet, how do you enslave an entire population into regurgitating completely illogical and constantly conflicting “explanations”?

Israelis have seen the senseless massacre of 2,100 entrapped human beings during the past month (including 89 families completely wiped out), the abduction of more than 18,000 Palestinian children since 2008, and quite literally witness demolition of Arab homes across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on a daily basis. Yet “Operation Protective Edge” remains under popular support by the Israeli public. How?

As a humanitarian first and foremost, I believe in the inherent qualities we all possess as human beings: compassion, kindness, and empathy. Therefore, I can only see Israel’s public reaction (exceptions do of course exist) as a deeply festered psychological disease which either limits or isolates these qualities.

Taking into consideration the outrage which followed the recent death of a four year old Israeli child (caused by a car explosion after Hamas mortar fire), there is evidence of the aforementioned qualities. Thousands of Israelis showered their condolences and presented their grief.

While interviewing these same commentators of grief, I questioned their feelings for the 500+ children killed in Gaza, including a 6 month old baby boy and more than 2,000 wounded. I also asked their opinions on more than 270,000 children in Gaza currently suffering from all sorts of diseases of the body and mind including malnutrition, amputation, and trauma. Their immediate reaction was “Hamas did this”.

I narrowed my question down to the children which were deliberately shot with sniper rifles of IDF soldiers, tank fire at a ten meter range, starvation due to the Israeli blockade, Kenan and Saji El Hallaq (3 and 5 year old brothers), and the four young boys killed by an airstrike on the beach a month ago. The reaction was again “Hamas…”.

I urged these Israelis to at least sympathize with the children’s deaths and stop deflecting in favor of other connotations. The idea was that they could simply wish these children would rest in peace; any innocent dead child, Arab or Israeli, deserves the condolences and well wishes of the entire planet. The response, again, was “Hamas…”.

It seems that the value of life between an Arab child and an Israeli child is so far apart in these peoples’ minds that there is no reconciliation possible. By now I realized that that they were so desensitized towards the killing of Arabs that they would ignore a brutal murder by trying to find an excuse instead to somehow justify Israel’s involvement in it.

Two explanations come to mind.

1) Israel enforces conscription. This makes military service compulsory for all, with the exception of some minority groups. Hence, almost anyone over the age of 18 must spend two years (women) or three years (men) in the IDF. As of the year 2000, more than 3 million women and men are listed as active for military service.

This means that if you are over 21 and could serve, you either have or are imprisoned for refusing to. Considering the average age in Israel is 30, nearly every single person in Israel has been part of the IDF.

Given the barrage of military operations against Palestinians over the past 66 years, nearly every single person in Israel has also had some sort of military role during one or more operations. Thus, logic would suggest that every single person in Israel is somehow connected to the IDF- through family, friend, or neighbor.

Being a former, an active, or related to a member of such a large and overwhelming organization which practically covers the entire population would realize a stark separation of values to a person’s daily life.

A psychological condition by the name of dis-inhibition comes into effect.

Dis-inhibition releases normal behavioral restraints such as self-monitoring, self-awareness, and other long-term norms as well as qualities. Ignoring such norms allows human beings to act on their immediately relevant emotions (be it patriotism, hatred, malice, or revenge) and motivations (territory, security, or vindication) regardless of considerations such as humanity, empathy, or compassion- considerations that usually result as a form of self-awareness.

This condition occurs mainly due to the consistent subconscious reassurance and confidence that you are acting in a group of collectively shared emotions and motivations, therefore there is no risk of reprisal. Self-monitoring becomes unnecessary.

Dis-inhibition on such a large scale makes it easier for the Israeli public to justify the crimes of Israel as there is a constant feeling of support and loyalty accompanied when such vindication is assumed. The necessity to justify every action the IDF commit is simple mob mentality, where actions higher up the hierarchy easily influence those lower down.

Effectively, when such a control mechanism has been intact for more than sixty years, across three or four generations, every single person in Israel is somehow part of the IDF. Dis-inhibition becomes a national phenomenon, and self-awareness becomes subsidiary. The population is no longer monitoring their own actions, so it is impossible for them to monitor their government’s. Combine this with relentless propaganda, and you have a population being told how to think, and how to act.

2) Cognitive dissonance. By pure definition, this psychological condition relates to the reluctance in accepting new information when it contradicts information one presumes they already know.

Most of Israel’s public are completely unaware of their ancestry which escaped European persecution to live in peace with Arabs pre-1917, nor are they aware of the existence of Palestine under international law.

There are many instances of uncontroversial fact which is either consciously or imminently neglected by these people. However, when evidence of such fact is communicated to them, it is simply rejected.

No logical reason is given for this rejection, nor does it seem that one is perceptibly necessary from their vantage point. Fact becomes as relevant as fiction to those suffering cognitive dissonance if it does not fit the narrative they have already been ingrained with.

This works particularly well when “fear” is the “information”. Instilling the belief that every Arab (Hamas have been used as a scapegoat in this case) is out to kill Israelis, destroy their families, and wipe out their homeland for example.

Every supporter of Zionism holds this brainwashed notion as a firm belief and any evidence to the contrary is deflected without thought. This subconscious and undercurrent fear becomes relative to every action committed in their daily life.

Arabs become the epitome of evil, even though no aggression whatsoever need be personally experienced by the person holding this irrational “fear”; as a result, preemptive (verbal or physical) attacks are believed necessary under the pretext of security.

Extreme conditions of cognitive dissonance ultimately lead to distress due to the constant inconsistencies bred. This results in depression, other trauma, and could explain why an IDF soldier is five times more likely to die from suicide than on the battlefield.

In all honesty, I cannot help but feel sympathy for such people whom live day in and day out under the delusion of collective values, manipulated ignorance combined with an unwillingness to learn, and a deep bitterness birthing from baseless fears. There is nothing more to do than inform them of their conditions and hope for a swift recovery.

Doctor 2



By TLB Contributor: Dave Hodges

Known globalist, Henry Kissinger, served as national security adviser and Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford, has written a book entitled “World Order�. The book is to be published Sept. 9 by the Penguin Press. Among many statements that would be objectionable to most Americans, Kissinger stated that “The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies…progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages�.

Kissinger's quote is important because he was tasked with implementing the insane genocidal policies contained in NSSM 200.

Kissinger is correct on a number fronts. The intermediate steps that he speaks of are ubiquitous and have already happened. The establishment of regional government, such as the European Union, is a move towards the consolidation of major governments. The free trade agreements have obliterated national boundaries in favor of an international system of trade designed to benefit multi-national corporate interests at the expense of individual citizens. Further, the erasure of the national boundaries of Western countries, through contrived illegal immigration scenarios, has served to destroy national identities and cultures. The IMF controls the relative wealth of national currencies. The establishment of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg has presented an informal system of international governance to the western democracies.  Through predatory loan practices, the World Bank has subjugated the infrastructure of emerging second and third world nations by taking control of their food and water delivery systems. As Kissinger has so boldly stated in the past, if you control food, you control nations.

The world is indeed marching towards the New World Order. However, the process of monetary and political manipulation has taken the globalists as far they are going to go with regard to the establishment of a draconian system of international governance. The final step on the path towards the New World Order must involve an entire reorganization the planet, its institutions and system of governance. In order to accomplish this goal, the globalists must tear down the old and build the new (i.e. “Out of chaos, comes order�).

What Kissinger means the world must be torn down by war or by a pandemic. Certainly, the present Ebola crisis could be used for this purpose. However, the globalists are well-known for their desire to maximize profits while facilitating their international system of governance. Therefore, a war is far more likely. Wars are profitable for the bankers and an end goal would be realized through a war and that would be a tremendous reduction in the numbers of what Kissinger called “the useless eaters�. The world will soon be going to war.

It Takes Two to Tango

putinThe globalists have two willing dance partners needed to participant in the upcoming holocaust which will kill billions of people. Russia has expressed their enthusiasm for participating in WW III with a thinly veiled warning recently issued by Vladimir Putin.

“I’ll remind you that Russia is one of the largest nuclear powers. These are not just words, this is reality and, moreover, we are strengthening our powers of nuclear restraint. We are boosting our armed forces, they are actually becoming more compact and more effective. They are really becoming more modern from the point of view of being equipped with modern systems of weaponry. We will continue increasing this potential, and we will do this,� Vladamir Putin recently stated.

On a number of occasions, Putin has threatened to “nuke� the United States if it dares attack either Syria or Iran. China has echoed the same sentiment. This has led to the rise of the BRICS and their deliberate undermining of the Petrodollar by purchasing Iranian oil with gold and forsaking the dollar as the medium of exchange in the purchasing of oil. The BRICS are trying stay as solvent as possible by running from the doomed dollar.

How the Banksters Put the Petrodollar in Jeopardy

Since the end of WW II, the globalists created a system of economics predicated on making the U.S. dollar the reserve currency of the world. Now the BRICS are openly defying this banker created edict, why? The world is hopelessly in debt because of the credit swap derivatives which was no more than a ponzi scheme which infiltrated the futures market. The venture was created by the controllers of the world’s central banks, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).


The Bank of International Settlments

The central banks and their subsidiaries were wildly successful with this ponzi scheme, at first. However, like a crack addict, the central banks and their minions (e.g. Goldman Sachs), predictably could not resist participating and like all ponzi schemes, the bottom fell out. Only this time, the banks and other financial houses went with them because they were used to insure and underwrite the entire process. This led to the need to create the bailouts to help the central banks stay one step ahead of the burning bridge. There was first bailout, then there was the second, the third and now we basically have QE unlimited in which these thieves help themselves to the “people’s� money whenever they want. Members of the Federal Reserve have hinted that bail-ins are coming this fall. If you are unfamiliar with the term, that means that the banks are going to steal your money and give it back to you for pennies on the dollar. This also means that your pension, social security and 401 K accounts are next to be confiscated by the globalist bankers. Why? Because the central bankers are desperately to stay afloat after being devastated by the derivatives debacle. There can be doubt about it that the BIS put its central banks on “death’s ground� and the end game is World War III and the establishment of a New World Order.


The entire wealth of the planet is estimated to be 96 trillion dollars on the high end of the estimate. The United States share of the debt owed by derivatives debt is estimated to be one to 1.5 quadrillion dollars. This debt can never be paid off. The only way to erase this debt is to begin to engage in wars of conquest and asset acquisition. Then and only then will globalists such as Kissinger realize their dream of a large scale world war designed to consolidate all power on the planet and then place that power under the control of the bankers.

This entire scenario was made possible by the BIS when they created the concept of the derivatives and got their member central banks hopelessly hooked on the process. The BIS in the pursuit of global governance has the world right where it wants it, on the very edge of Armageddon.

Every war has a trigger event for conflict. ISIS, a CIA creation, has provided the trigger event for World War III by entering into Syria. This event has provided the United States with the pretext to move into Syria to stop ISIS. Russia will then make good on its promise to oppose such a move and World War III will have begun in earnest.

Part III of this series,  will examine the very likely chronology and unfolding of event in the course of fighting World War III.

Read part one of this series here: The Blueprint for World War III

About the Author

Dave Hodges is the host of the popular radio talk show, which airs from 9 PM to Midnight (Central). The show can be heard by clicking the following icon in the upper right hand corner of The Common Sense Show.

© 2014. The Common Sense Show.  The Logo and Articles are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Dave Hodges. Copyright 2014. Dave Hodges. All Rights Reserved.

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Main Ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, Patented as an Antibiotic, Destroying GI Tract

A global threat? A slight nuisance? Whatever you decide to call it, the U.S. government gave Monsanto a patent for the main ingredient in toxic RoundUp, glyphosate, in 2010. It has been killing a wide range of pathogenic organisms (including the healthy bacteria we need to fight super bugs) even since it first came into use in 1974.

Monsanto will tell you that:

“Roundup® brand herbicides continue to be a perfect fit with the vision of sustainable agriculture and environmental protection. In fact, their use on Roundup Ready® crops has allowed farmers to conserve fuel, reduce tillage and decrease the overall amount of herbicides used.�

These are all claims which have been proven to be untrue.

So why would the company seek a patent for an herbicide to be used as an antibiotic? All the more important to ask is, why is this toxic ingredient allowed to be used when it has been proven again and again to allow toxic bacteria like clostridium to flourish?

In 2013, the Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame ally Davies, announced that antibiotic-resistant diseases posed an ‘apocalyptic’ threat to the world. The CDC has even admitted (finally) that the age of antibiotics must come to an end as antibiotic-resistant bacteria begin to reign supreme over conventional treatments. Has Monsanto purposefully created a healthy bacteria killer?

Dr. Don Huber, a preeminent GMO expert, has said:

“Despite what the media and so-called “experts� proclaim, there are NO peer-reviewed scientific papers establishing the safety of GMO crops.�

To be honest, not a single person has been able to establish that genetically engineered proteins (i.e. the foreign proteins produced by the genetically modified plant), or the chemicals we’re consuming in ever-growing quantities as a result of the genetic engineering process are safe. In fact, the facts point quite clearly in the opposite direction.

Dr. Huber also explains that though glyphosate is an herbicide, it was first patented as a mineral chelator. It mobilizes nutrients so that your body cannot absorb them. Since glyphosate was also patented as an antibiotic, it does double damage. He says:

“When you take the good bacteria out, then the bad bacteria fill that void, because there aren’t any voids in nature. We have all of these gut-related problems, whether it’s autism, leaky gut, C. difficile diarrhea, gluten intolerance, or any of the other problems. All of these diseases are an expression of disruption of that intestinal microflora that keeps you healthy.�

So glyphosate, which has been patented as both a mineral chelator and an antibiotic, both of which have tremendous implications, is being used willy nilly all over the world. All the while, the agencies which are supposed to protect public health continue to look the other way.

While there are many natural chelators in soil, one given a patent that would leach minerals from our own bodies while destroying healthy bacteria is highly questionable at best, and should have never received a rubber stamp from the USDA, FDA, or any other agency.

What’s more, is that since given its patent, the amount of glyphosate exposure has been proven to be quite alarming. In the scientific journal Entropy, it was stated:

“Contrary to the current widely-held misconception that glyphosate is relatively harmless to humans, the available evidence shows that glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.�

The toxic substance works by interfering with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tracts, destroying amino acids in what is called the shikimate pathway. Specifically, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. It doesn’t work immediately, except in cases of acute toxic exposure, but develops little by little.

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time.�

So how exactly is all your good bacteria – the backbone of your immune system – being killed unceremoniously, but deliberately, and slowly? One answer is glyphosate. It is gut wrenching, isn’t it?

TLB recommends you visit Natural Society for more great/pertinent articles and information.


Former Microsoft CEO and mega mogul Bill Gates has long utilized his vast fortune to push genetically modified organisms (GMOs) through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but Gates’ efforts have been met with sharp criticism from millions of grassroots activists both home and abroad.

The debate around GMOs has become increasingly one-sided in recent years, with activists spreading the word about the health dangers of genetically modified foods as well as the environmental risks (see here and here) of the lab-created crops via social media.

Pro-GMO corporations have adjusted, attempting to fight back with their own PR campaigns (including this one where Monsanto offered money “mommy bloggers� to attend a presentation).

Now, in an effort to “depolarize� the GMO debate, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making a multi-million dollar donation to one of America’s most prominent universities.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will donate almost 6 million to "depolarize" the GMO debate.

Cornell University to Lead New International GMO-Focused Effort

Cornell University, a private New York state-based Ivy League college, is expected to lead a new international effort that “will seek to add a stronger voice for science,� according to an article in the school’s Cornell Chronicle.

The program, made possible through the Gates Foundation’s $5.6 million grant, reportedly seeks to help inform decision-makers an consumers through an online information hub as well as training programs, with the goal of educating on “how (agricultural technology, presumably GMOs) works,� as well as the “potential impacts� of agricultural technology.

Multimedia resources including videos of farmers using the technology will be included as well.

Sarah Evanega, senior associate director of International Programs in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), who will lead the project according to the report, said that “pro-biotech activists share a lot of the same anti-pesticide, low-input, sustainable-agriculture vision as the organic movement.�

While that may be true, it remains to be seen whether or not the Biotech industry can come close to living up to its promises, and to quell widespread concerns regarding the health and environmental problems its crops are reputed to cause.

According to a report from the USDA, a notoriously pro-Biotech organization, for example, the amount of herbicide use on GM corn increased from around 1.5 pounds per ace in 2001 to more than 2 pounds per planted acre in 2010, in direct opposition to repeated statements to the contrary by GMO companies.

Herbicide use has been on the rise for the past 9 years according to one major recent study as Forbes noted, on the heels of another similar study.

The rise of herbicide-resistant “superweeds� has also been linked to GMO adoption, so much so that the state of Texas requested (and was denied) a banned chemical to stop an outbreak on a whopping three million acres of genetically modified cotton.

And while the Biotech industry often claims it’s helping to “feed the world,� a major UN report recently said that small-scale organic farming is actually the best way to do just that rather than using GMOs

Will Objectivity Be Included in New Program?

Considering Gates’ clear bias in favor of GMOs, can we reasonably expect to see any sort of objectivity in Cornell’s upcoming program?

Gates has long touted them as a world hunger solution despite evidence to the contrary, while ignoring the dramatic role that imperialism has played in African countries where he’s attempting to spread the GMOs he is so deeply invested in, as well as the promise of small-scale independent farming mentioned above.

The “GMO debate� is already firmly slanted in favor of non-GMO farming among the general populace of most countries and GMO crop cultivation is declining worldwide because of it.

While the stated aim of the program is to diffuse “controversy,� independent science, recent results and public opinion are already firmly in support of organic and non-GMO food.

Genetically modified foods have proliferated in the U.S. almost exclusively due to a lack of labeling and overall transparency.

Regardless of whether or not Cornell’s new program will be even remotely objective considering the funding behind it, one thing’s for sure: the consumer is becoming smart enough to make up their own mind on GMOs, and that development is likely to be a problem for the Biotech companies’ bottom lines going forward.

RELATED READING: What Hillary Said 40 Seconds Into This Video Should Put Everyone Who Cares About Organic on Notice

Organic Farmers Must Do These 11 Things Just to Prevent Being Contaminated


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dees-policeDees Illustration

How to stay safe when exercising your rights.

By: Stefan Verstappen

If you’re planning on participating in a peaceful demonstration or protest, keep one thing in mind: at any time it could turn into a bloody riot.

In the past it has been a common practice for governments to send provocateurs to mingle among the demonstrators until a given time or signal, and then to begin instigating violence as both a way to demonize the peaceful protesters in the media, and as an excuse to send in the riot troops to bust heads. As demonstrations around the world can attest to, this tactic has not gone out of fashion.

So what should you do if suddenly rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and flash bang grenades are whizzing past you and a hundred Mad Max extras waving clubs start goose-stepping in your direction?

The following will provide you some tips and advice to keep you as safe as possible should you suddenly find yourself in a war zone.


When the stormtroopers make their appearance at your protest march, you’ll notice they come dressed to kill. They typically wear helmets, face shields, gas masks, chest protectors, elbow pads, knee and shin pads, and combat boots. In addition, they will carry shields, batons, Tasers, radios, medical kits, shotguns and pistols. Meanwhile, you are standing there in a t-shirt and flip flops. The first tip is to come dressed for the occasion.

What to Wear

Long pants and long sleeves to reduce the exposure of skin to RCAs (Riot Control Agents). Wear only cotton or wool. Natural fibers are fire resistant, whereas most of the synthetic materials are highly flammable and can quickly ignite from a spark from a flash bang or Molotov cocktail. When these materials burn they will melt right into your skin and cannot be removed without taking the skin with it.

A bicycle helmet can be a life saver in case agitators begin throwing rocks and you happen to be in the line of fire. Also useful as protection against police nightstick attacks.

A backpack; fill the book pocket, the pocket that is closest to the back straps, with a large hardcover book. This can act like body armor protecting your back from rubber bullets. In addition, it can be used as a shield by placing your forearm through the shoulder straps and holding the pack as a shield if front of you if you have to escape volleys of projectiles and rubber bullets.

A bandanna can be used as an emergency bandage, sweat band, improvised dust mask, and washcloth.

Bring work gloves to protect your hands if you have to escape through broken windows, or other sharp wreckage caused by rioting. Wearing gloves will also help prevent burns if you have to remove smoking teargas canisters.

Wear work boots or hiking boots, or at least good high-top leather runners. This is to help protect your feet from broken glass and sharp debris on the ground, and will help support your ankles when running, or climbing over barriers.

Wear protective eye-wear. The sports-style sunglasses with padding on the inside such as used in racket all and other sports works best. This is to protect against RCAs, rubber bullets and fragments from teargas canisters and Flash Bangs.

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What to Carry

The riot police typically carry a lot of gear and it is a good idea for you to carry some items on your person as well.

Water: you can quickly become dehydrated standing outdoors, and access to water may be restricted. Local stores may be closed for fear of rioting and looting and police may block off access to public fountains and washrooms. Bring 2 liters minimum and double if the temperatures are high.

Snacks: the excitement and physical exertion can quickly use up your glucose stores and leave you feeling weak and nauseated. Bring some snacks to nibble on through the day to maintain your blood sugar levels.

Cell Phone: to call for help, an attorney, or a cab to help you get out if you become trapped or arrested. A cell phone is also useful for filming the violation of human rights.

Pocket First Aid Kit: to treat minor injuries like cuts and blisters. Add one or two a chemical cold packs to help treat welts raised by rubber bullets and baton strikes.

Small Flashlight: in case you’re out after dark and the power goes out.

Cash: to pay for parking, or public transportation, or to hire a taxi.

Dust Mask: to help filter out riot control agents.

Identification: in case you are detained or arrested; providing I.D. can get you released sooner.

Attorney’s Business Card: If you participate regularly in an activist community you will eventually have an encounter with law enforcement. It is best to be prepared ahead of any such encounter by finding a reputable lawyer that specializes in civil rights cases and get several of his or her business cards to keep in your wallet and another in your protest emergency kit. Don’t rely solely on your cell phone for contact information since cell phones and other electronic devices will be seized when you are arrested.

How to Deal With Riot Control Agents

The term “riot control agents� (RCAs) refers to several gases commonly known as ‘Tear Gas’ or ‘Pepper Spray’. Exposure to these chemicals can cause skin, nose, and eye irritation, nausea, and respiratory difficulties within minutes. In rare cases, RCAs can cause long-term health complications, blindness, and even death. The effects generally last less than half an hour but can be extremely uncomfortable.

The first defense is to try to stay out of the line of fire and away from the front lines of the police. If the chemicals are released in front of you, you should run straight behind you to get out of range. Try to get upwind of the point of release where there is fresh air.

If RCAs are deployed inside a building, get out as quickly as possible. The chemicals do not dissipate as they would outdoors, and the high concentrations can be extremely dangerous with prolonged exposure.

Get to high ground. RCAs are heavier than air, and the highest concentrations thus tend to be near the ground. Try to get to the highest point possible. This could be up a hill, atop a wall, etc.

If you are caught in a smoke cloud, soak a bandanna or other cloth in apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice and tightly cover your mouth and nose with it. (Bring these items in your kit.)

Finally, avoid wearing oil-based creams or sunscreens, as these aid absorption of the RCAs. If you are exposed to these agents follow decontamination procedures.

In emergencies, dry powder such as flour, baking soda, detergents, or even soil can be used to reduce the quantity of chemical agent available for uptake through the skin. Pouring flour onto the chemical followed by wiping with wet tissue paper is reported to be effective against the nerve agents soman, VX, and mustard gas.

How to Escape a Riot

Try to look as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible.

Get inside and stay inside if you can. Find a retail store, office building, or coffee shop to go into and off the streets. Look for a rear exit to these buildings that will lead out to a back street where there are no rioters or police and carefully make you way home.

It can be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or up a side street or alley. It may also be advantageous to stay with the crowd until you are certain you can safely escape because it will help you remain inconspicuous and improve your odds of survival if shots are fired. In addition, police may barricade side routes and ambush anyone seeking to escape the main mob. You do not want to be the only person trying to get past a police barricade.

Avoid public transportation. Buses, subways, and trains will likely be out of service, and stations and depots will probably be packed with people. Even if you succeed in getting on a train or bus, rioters may stop it. Subway stations are particularly bad places to be, both because they are difficult to escape and because riot control agents are heavier than air and may drift down into subway stations and accumulate there.

Protesting in a police state can be a dangerous exercise of your basic human rights. You cannot trust that unstable elements within the ranks of law enforcement would not instigate violence that would trigger the police into attack mode. You could be entering a war zone, and so to protect yourself and fellow activists make sure you follow the advice given and come prepared.

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Stefan H. Verstappen is a Canadian writer, adventurer, and martial artist. He has worked as a wilderness survival instructor for Outward Bound programs, a street youth councilor, a First Aid and CPR instructor for St John Ambulance, and a martial arts instructor. Since first backpacking through Europe alone at age sixteen he has also traveled extensively and spent four years living in the Orient. You can read more from Stefan Verstappen at his site The Art of Urban Survival, where this article first appeared. You can also find Stefan’s instructional books and videos here.


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The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google


The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like� search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.


ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. A planning document from 2007 lists the DEA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency as core members. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.

The creation of ICREACH represented a landmark moment in the history of classified U.S. government surveillance, according to the NSA documents.

“The ICREACH team delivered the first-ever wholesale sharing of communications metadata within the U.S. Intelligence Community,� noted a top-secret memo dated December 2007. “This team began over two years ago with a basic concept compelled by the IC’s increasing need for communications metadata and NSA’s ability to collect, process and store vast amounts of communications metadata related to worldwide intelligence targets.�

The search tool was designed to be the largest system for internally sharing secret surveillance records in the United States, capable of handling two to five billion new records every day, including more than 30 different kinds of metadata on emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones. Metadata reveals information about a communication—such as the “to� and “from� parts of an email, and the time and date it was sent, or the phone numbers someone called and when they called—but not the content of the message or audio of the call.

ICREACH does not appear to have a direct relationship to the large NSA database, previously reported by The Guardian, that stores information on millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Unlike the 215 database, which is accessible to a small number of NSA employees and can be searched only in terrorism-related investigations, ICREACH grants access to a vast pool of data that can be mined by analysts from across the intelligence community for “foreign intelligence�—a vague term that is far broader than counterterrorism.


Data available through ICREACH appears to be primarily derived from surveillance of foreigners’ communications, and planning documents show that it draws on a variety of different sources of data maintained by the NSA. Though one 2010 internal paper clearly calls it “the ICREACH database,� a U.S. official familiar with the system disputed that, telling The Intercept that while “it enables the sharing of certain foreign intelligence metadata,� ICREACH is “not a repository [and] does not store events or records.� Instead, it appears to provide analysts with the ability to perform a one-stop search of information from a wide variety of separate databases.

In a statement to The Intercept, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that the system shares data that is swept up by programs authorized under Executive Order 12333, a controversial Reagan-era presidential directive that underpins several NSA bulk surveillance operations that monitor communications overseas. The 12333 surveillance takes place with no court oversight and has received minimal Congressional scrutiny because it is targeted at foreign, not domestic, communication networks. But the broad scale of 12333 surveillance means that some Americans’ communications get caught in the dragnet as they transit international cables or satellites—and documents contained in the Snowden archive indicate that ICREACH taps into some of that data.

Legal experts told The Intercept they were shocked to learn about the scale of the ICREACH system and are concerned that law enforcement authorities might use it for domestic investigations that are not related to terrorism.

“To me, this is extremely troublesome,� said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. “The myth that metadata is just a bunch of numbers and is not as revealing as actual communications content was exploded long ago—this is a trove of incredibly sensitive information.�

Brian Owsley, a federal magistrate judge between 2005 and 2013, said he was alarmed that traditional law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the DEA were among those with access to the NSA’s surveillance troves.

“This is not something that I think the government should be doing,� said Owsley, an assistant professor of law at Indiana Tech Law School. “Perhaps if information is useful in a specific case, they can get judicial authority to provide it to another agency. But there shouldn’t be this buddy-buddy system back-and-forth.�

Jeffrey Anchukaitis, an ODNI spokesman, declined to comment on a series of questions from The Intercept about the size and scope of ICREACH, but said that sharing information had become “a pillar of the post-9/11 intelligence community� as part of an effort to prevent valuable intelligence from being “stove-piped in any single office or agency.�

Using ICREACH to query the surveillance data, “analysts can develop vital intelligence leads without requiring access to raw intelligence collected by other IC [Intelligence Community] agencies,� Anchukaitis said. “In the case of NSA, access to raw signals intelligence is strictly limited to those with the training and authority to handle it appropriately. The highest priority of the intelligence community is to work within the constraints of law to collect, analyze and understand information related to potential threats to our national security.�


One-Stop Shopping

The mastermind behind ICREACH was recently retired NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander, who outlined his vision for the system in a classified 2006 letter to the then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. The search tool, Alexander wrote, would “allow unprecedented volumes of communications metadata to be shared and analyzed,� opening up a “vast, rich source of information� for other agencies to exploit. By late 2007 the NSA reported to its employees that the system had gone live as a pilot program.

The NSA described ICREACH as a “one-stop shopping tool� for analyzing communications. The system would enable at least a 12-fold increase in the volume of metadata being shared between intelligence community agencies, the documents stated. Using ICREACH, the NSA planned to boost the amount of communications “events� it shared with other U.S. government agencies from 50 billion to more than 850 billion, bolstering an older top-secret data sharing system named CRISSCROSS/PROTON, which was launched in the 1990s and managed by the CIA.

To allow government agents to sift through the masses of records on ICREACH, engineers designed a simple “Google-like� search interface. This enabled analysts to run searches against particular “selectors� associated with a person of interest—such as an email address or phone number—and receive a page of results displaying, for instance, a list of phone calls made and received by a suspect over a month-long period. The documents suggest these results can be used reveal the “social network� of the person of interest—in other words, those that they communicate with, such as friends, family, and other associates.


The purpose of ICREACH, projected initially to cost between $2.5 million and $4.5 million per year, was to allow government agents to comb through the NSA’s metadata troves to identify new leads for investigations, to predict potential future threats against the U.S., and to keep tabs on what the NSA calls “worldwide intelligence targets.�

However, the documents make clear that it is not only data about foreigners’ communications that are available on the system. Alexander’s memo states that “many millions of…minimized communications metadata records� would be available through ICREACH, a reference to the process of “minimization,� whereby identifying information—such as part of a phone number or email address—is removed so it is not visible to the analyst. NSA documents define minimization as “specific procedures to minimize the acquisition and retention [of] information concerning unconsenting U.S. persons�—making it a near certainty that ICREACH gives analysts access to millions of records about Americans. The “minimized� information can still be retained under NSA rules for up to five years and “unmasked� at any point during that period if it is ever deemed necessary for an investigation.

The Brennan Center’s Goitein said it appeared that with ICREACH, the government “drove a truck� through loopholes that allowed it to circumvent restrictions on retaining data about Americans. This raises a variety of legal and constitutional issues, according to Goitein, particularly if the data can be easily searched on a large scale by agencies like the FBI and DEA for their domestic investigations.

“The idea with minimization is that the government is basically supposed to pretend this information doesn’t exist, unless it falls under certain narrow categories,� Goitein said. “But functionally speaking, what we’re seeing here is that minimization means, ‘we’ll hold on to the data as long as we want to, and if we see anything that interests us then we can use it.’�

A key question, according to several experts consulted by The Intercept, is whether the FBI, DEA or other domestic agencies have used their access to ICREACH to secretly trigger investigations of Americans through a controversial process known as “parallel construction.�

Parallel construction involves law enforcement agents using information gleaned from covert surveillance, but later covering up their use of that data by creating a new evidence trail that excludes it. This hides the true origin of the investigation from defense lawyers and, on occasion, prosecutors and judges—which means the legality of the evidence that triggered the investigation cannot be challenged in court.

In practice, this could mean that a DEA agent identifies an individual he believes is involved in drug trafficking in the United States on the basis of information stored on ICREACH. The agent begins an investigation but pretends, in his records of the investigation, that the original tip did not come from the secret trove. Last year, Reuters first reported details of parallel construction based on NSA data, linking the practice to a unit known as the Special Operations Division, which Reuters said distributes tips from NSA intercepts and a DEA database known as DICE.

Tampa attorney James Felman, chair of the American Bar Association’s criminal justice section, told The Intercept that parallel construction is a “tremendously problematic� tactic because law enforcement agencies “must be honest with courts about where they are getting their information.� The ICREACH revelations, he said, “raise the question of whether parallel construction is present in more cases than we had thought. And if that’s true, it is deeply disturbing and disappointing.�

Anchukaitis, the ODNI spokesman, declined to say whether ICREACH has been used to aid domestic investigations, and he would not name all of the agencies with access to the data. “Access to information-sharing tools is restricted to users conducting foreign intelligence analysis who have the appropriate training to handle the data,� he said.

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, 2001.


The roots of ICREACH can be traced back more than two decades.

In the early 1990s, the CIA and the DEA embarked on a secret initiative called Project CRISSCROSS. The agencies built a database system to analyze phone billing records and phone directories, in order to identify links between intelligence targets and other persons of interest. At first, CRISSCROSS was used in Latin America and was “extremely successful� at identifying narcotics-related suspects. It stored only five kinds of metadata on phone calls: date, time, duration, called number, and calling number, according to an NSA memo.

The program rapidly grew in size and scope. By 1999, the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the FBI had gained access to CRISSCROSS and were contributing information to it. As CRISSCROSS continued to expand, it was supplemented with a system called PROTON that enabled analysts to store and examine additional types of data. These included unique codes used to identify individual cellphones, location data, text messages, passport and flight records, visa application information, as well as excerpts culled from CIA intelligence reports.

An NSA memo noted that PROTON could identify people based on whether they behaved in a “similar manner to a specific target.� The memo also said the system “identifies correspondents in common with two or more targets, identifies potential new phone numbers when a target switches phones, and identifies networks of organizations based on communications within the group.� In July 2006, the NSA estimated that it was storing 149 billion phone records on PROTON.

According to the NSA documents, PROTON was used to track down “High Value Individuals� in the United States and Iraq, investigate front companies, and discover information about foreign government operatives. CRISSCROSS enabled major narcotics arrests and was integral to the CIA’s rendition program during the Bush Administration, which involved abducting terror suspects and flying them to secret “black site� prisons where they were brutally interrogated and sometimes tortured. One NSA document on the system, dated from July 2005, noted that the use of communications metadata “has been a contribution to virtually every successful rendition of suspects and often, the deciding factor.�

However, the NSA came to view CRISSCROSS/PROTON as insufficient, in part due to the aging standard of its technology. The intelligence community was sensitive to criticism that it had failed to share information that could potentially have helped prevent the 9/11 attacks, and it had been strongly criticized for intelligence failures before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. For the NSA, it was time to build a new and more advanced system to radically increase metadata sharing.


A New Standard

In 2006, NSA director Alexander drafted his secret proposal to then-Director of National Intelligence Negroponte.

Alexander laid out his vision for what he described as a “communications metadata coalition� that would be led by the NSA. His idea was to build a sophisticated new tool that would grant other federal agencies access to “more than 50 existing NSA/CSS metadata fields contained in trillions of records� and handle “many millions� of new minimized records every day—indicating that a large number of Americans’ communications would be included.

The NSA’s contributions to the ICREACH system, Alexander wrote, “would dwarf the volume of NSA’s present contributions to PROTON, as well as the input of all other [intelligence community] contributors.�

Alexander explained in the memo that NSA was already collecting “vast amounts of communications metadata� and was preparing to share some of it on a system called GLOBALREACH with its counterparts in the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance: the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

ICREACH, he proposed, could be designed like GLOBALREACH and accessible only to U.S. agencies in the intelligence community, or IC.

A top-secret PowerPoint presentation from May 2007 illustrated how ICREACH would work—revealing its “Google-like� search interface and showing how the NSA planned to link it to the DEA, DIA, CIA, and the FBI. Each agency would access and input data through a secret data “broker�—a sort of digital letterbox—linked to the central NSA system. ICREACH, according to the presentation, would also receive metadata from the Five Eyes allies.

The aim was not necessarily for ICREACH to completely replace CRISSCROSS/PROTON, but rather to complement it. The NSA planned to use the new system to perform more advanced kinds of surveillance—such as “pattern of life analysis,� which involves monitoring who individuals communicate with and the places they visit over a period of several months, in order to observe their habits and predict future behavior.

The NSA agreed to train other U.S. government agencies to use ICREACH. Intelligence analysts could be “certified� for access to the massive database if they required access in support of a given mission, worked as an analyst within the U.S. intelligence community, and had top-secret security clearance. (According to the latest government figures, there are more than 1.2 million government employees and contractors with top-secret clearance.)

In November 2006, according to the documents, the Director of National Intelligence approved the proposal. ICREACH was rolled out as a test program by late 2007. It’s not clear when it became fully operational, but a September 2010 NSA memo referred to it as the primary tool for sharing data in the intelligence community. “ICREACH has been identified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as the U.S. Intelligence Community’s standard architecture for sharing communications metadata,� the memo states, adding that it provides “telephony metadata events� from the NSA and its Five Eyes partners “to over 1000 analysts across 23 U.S. Intelligence Community agencies.� It does not name all of the 23 agencies, however.

The limitations placed on analysts authorized to sift through the vast data troves are not outlined in the Snowden files, with only scant references to oversight mechanisms. According to the documents, searches performed by analysts are subject to auditing by the agencies for which they work. The documents also say the NSA would conduct random audits of the system to check for any government agents abusing their access to the data. The Intercept asked the NSA and the ODNI whether any analysts had been found to have conducted improper searches, but the agencies declined to comment.

While the NSA initially estimated making upwards of 850 billion records available on ICREACH, the documents indicate that target could have been surpassed, and that the number of personnel accessing the system may have increased since the 2010 reference to more than 1,000 analysts. The intelligence community’s top-secret “Black Budget� for 2013, also obtained by Snowden, shows that the NSA recently sought new funding to upgrade ICREACH to “provide IC analysts with access to a wider set of shareable data.�

In December last year, a surveillance review group appointed by President Obama recommended that as a general rule “the government should not be permitted to collect and store all mass, undigested, non-public personal information about individuals to enable future queries and data-mining for foreign intelligence purposes.� It also recommended that any information about United States persons should be “purged upon detection unless it either has foreign intelligence value or is necessary to prevent serious harm to others.�

Peter Swire, one of the five members of the review panel, told The Intercept he could not comment on whether the group was briefed on specific programs such as ICREACH, but noted that the review group raised concerns that “the need to share had gone too far among multiple agencies.�


Photo credit: Alexander: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo; CIA Headquarters: Greg Mathieson/Mai/Mai/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images


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For decades, Israel has slaughtered Palestinians with impunity, always protected by the U.S. government and its veto at the UN Security Council. But the latest bloody assault on Gaza has prompted more open talk about Israeli war crimes — and U.S. complicity, says Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

By sending vast amounts of military aid to Israel, members of the U.S. Congress, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza.

An individual can be convicted of a war crime, genocide or a crime against humanity in the ICC if he or she “aids, abets or otherwise assists� in the commission or attempted commission of the crime, “including providing the means for its commission.�

President Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the White House on May 20, 2011 (White House photo by Pete Souza)

There is growing evidence that Israeli leaders and commanders have committed war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as defined in the Rome Statute for the ICC. U.S. military aid has aided, abetted and assisted the commission of these crimes by providing Israel with the military means to commit them.

During Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces again used the Dahiye Doctrine, which, according to the UN Human Rights Council [Goldstone] Report, involves “the application of disproportionate force and causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations.�

According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2007, the Bush Administration agreed to provide Israel with $30 billion in military assistance from 2009 to 2018, provided in annual increments of $3.1 billion. During his March 2013 visit to Israel, Obama pledged that the U.S. would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid subject to the approval of Congress.

Since 2012, the U.S. has sent $276 million worth of weapons and munitions to Israel, not including exports of military transport equipment and high technologies. From January to May 2014, the U.S. transferred to Israel almost $27 million for rocket launchers, $9.3 million worth of parts of guided missiles and nearly $762,000 for bombs, grenades and munitions of war.

On July 20, 2014, Israel requested additional ammunition, including 140mm tank rounds and 40mm illumination grenades, and the Defense Department approved the sale three days later. It came from a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition the U.S. military stores in Israel for that country’s use; it is called War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel.

In early August 2014, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly passed, and Obama signed, an appropriation of $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which has also been used in Gaza. The Senate vote was unanimous. With no debate, the House of Representatives voted 395 to 8 to approve the deal.

War crimes

Here is a summary of the crimes, as defined in the Rome Statute, that Israeli leaders have committed and U.S. leaders have aided and abetted:

(1) Willful killing: Israeli forces have killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians (more than 400 children and over 80 percent civilians). Israel used 155-millimeter artillery, which, according to Human Rights Watch, is “utterly inappropriate in a densely populated area, because this kind of artillery is considered accurate if it lands anyplace within a 50-meter radius.�

(2) Willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health: Nearly10,000 people, 2,500 of them children, have been wounded. Naban Abu Shaar told the Daily Beast that the dead bodies from what appeared to be a “mass execution� in Khuza’a looked like they were “melted� and were piled on top of each other; assault rifle bullet casings found in the house were marked “IMI� (Israel Military Industries).

UNICEF said the Israeli offensive has had a “catastrophic and tragic impact� on children in Gaza; about 373,000 children have had traumatic experiences and need psychological help. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said: “There’s a public health catastrophe going on. You know, most of the medical facilities in Gaza are non-operational.�

(3) Unlawful and wanton, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity: Tens of thousands of Palestinians have lost their homes. More than 1,300 buildings were destroyed and 752 were severely damaged. Damage to sewer and water infrastructure has affected two-thirds of Gazans. On July 20, Israeli forces virtually flattened the small town of Khuza’a; one man counted 360 shell attacks in one hour.

Reconstruction of Gaza is estimated to cost $6 billion. Israel shrunk Gaza’s habitable land mass by 44 percent, establishing a 3 km “no-go� zone for Palestinians; 147 square miles of land will be compressed into 82 square miles. Oxfam described the level of destruction as “outrageous … much worse than anything we have seen in previous [Israeli] military operations.�

(4) Willfully depriving a prisoner of war or a civilian the rights of fair and regular trial: Nearly 2,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces during July 2014, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies. Prisoners include 15 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, about 240 children, dozens of women, journalists, activists, academics and 62 former prisoners previously released in a prisoner exchange.

Israeli forces executed many prisoners after arrest, either by directly firing on them, refusing to allow treatment or allowing them to bleed to death. More than 445 prisoners are being held without charge or trial under administrative detention.

(5) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, civilian objects, or humanitarian vehicles, installations and personnel: “The civilian population in the Gaza Strip is under direct attack,� reads a joint declaration of over 150 international law experts. Israeli forces violated the principle of “distinction,� which forbids deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects.

Israeli forces bombed 142 schools (89 run by the UN), including six UN schools in which civilians were taking refuge. Israeli forces shot and killed fleeing civilians (warnings, which must effectively give civilians time to flee before bombing, do not relieve Israel from its legal obligations not to target civilians). Israeli forces repeatedly bombed Gaza’s only power plant and other infrastructure, which are “beyond repair.� Israeli forces bombed one-third of Gaza’s hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics and 29 ambulances. At least five medical staff were killed and tens of others were injured.

(6) Intentionally launching attacks with knowledge they will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or long-term severe damage to the natural environment, if they are clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage: The principle of “proportionality� forbids disproportionate and excessive civilian casualties compared to the claimed military advantage gained in the attack.

The Dahiye Doctrine directly violates this principle. Responding to Hamas’ rockets with 155-millimeter artillery is disproportionate. Although nearly 2,000 Palestinians (over 80 percent civilians) have been killed, 67 Israelis (all but three of them soldiers) have been killed. The coordinates of all UN facilities were repeatedly communicated to the Israeli forces; they nevertheless bombed them multiple times. Civilians were attacked in Shuja’iyyah market.

(7) Attacking or bombarding undefended towns, villages, dwellings or buildings, or intentionally attacking religious, educational and medical buildings, which are not military objectives: On July 20, Israeli forces virtually flattened the small town of Khuza’a; one man counted 360 shell attacks in one hour. Israeli forces bombed 142 schools (89 run by the UN), one-third of Gaza’s hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics, and 29 ambulances. Israeli shelling completely destroyed 41 mosques and partially destroyed 120 mosques.


(a) With the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group: Palestinians, including primarily civilians, and Palestinian infrastructure necessary to sustain life were deliberately targeted by Israeli forces.

(b) The commission of any of the following acts

(i) killing members of the group: Israeli forces killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians.
(ii) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: Israeli forces wounded 10,000 Palestinians.
(iii) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part: Israeli forces devastated Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant, and destroying homes, schools, buildings, mosques and hospitals.

Crimes against humanity

(A) The commission of murder as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population: Israeli forces relentlessly bombed Gaza for one month, killing nearly 2,000 Palestinians, more than 80 percent of whom were civilians. Israeli forces intentionally destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant, and destroying homes, schools, buildings, mosques and hospitals.

(B) Persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political, racial, national, ethnic or religious character, as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population: Israeli forces killed, wounded, summarily executed, and administratively detained Palestinians, Hamas forces and civilians alike. Israel forces intentionally destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, populated by Palestinians.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “the massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world.� He added the repeated bombing of UN shelters facilities in Gaza was “outrageous, unacceptable and unjustifiable.�

(C) The crime of apartheid (inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another racial group, with the intent to maintain that regime): Ali Hayek, head of Gaza’s federation of industries representing 3,900 businesses that employ 35,000 people, said: “After 30 days of war, the economic situation has become, like, dead. It seems the occupation intentionally destroyed these vital factories that constitute the backbone of the society.�

Israel maintains an illegal barrier wall that encroaches on Palestinian territory and builds illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands. Israel keeps Gazans caged in what many call “the world’s largest open air prison.� Israel controls all ingress and egress to Gaza, limits Gazans’ access to medicine, subjects Palestinians to arbitrary arrest, expropriates their property, maintains separate areas and roads, segregated housing, different legal and educational systems for Palestinians and Jews and prevents mixed marriages. Only Jews, not Palestinians, have the right to return to Israel-Palestine.

Collective Punishment

Although the Rome Statute does not include the crime of collective punishment, it is considered a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which constitutes a war crime. Collective punishment means punishing a civilian for an offense he or she has not personally committed; it forbids reprisals against civilians and their property (civilian objects).

Ostensibly to root out Hamas fighters, Israel has wreaked unprecedented devastation on the people of Gaza, killing nearly 2,000 people (more than 80 percent of them civilians) and destroying much of the infrastructure of Gaza. This constitutes collective punishment.

On Aug. 5, 2014, veteran Israeli military advisor Giora Eiland advocated collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population, saying: “In order to guarantee our interests versus the other side’s demands, we must avoid the artificial, wrong and dangerous distinction between the Hamas people, who are ‘the bad guys,’ and Gaza’s residents, which are allegedly ‘the good guys.’� That is precisely the strategy Israel has employed during Operation Protective Edge.

Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands also constitutes collective punishment. Israel maintains effective control over Gaza’s land, airspace, seaport, electricity, water, telecommunications and population registry. Israel deprives Gazans of food, medicine, fuel and basic services.

Prospects for Accountability

Both Israel and the U.S. have refused to ratify the Rome Statute. But if Palestine were a party to the statute, the ICC could exercise jurisdiction over crimes committed by Israelis and Americans in Palestinian territory. The ICC could also take jurisdiction if the UN Security Council refers the matter to the ICC, or if the ICC prosecutor initiates an investigation of the crime.

The U.S. would veto any Security Council referral to the ICC. And the ICC prosecutor has not initiated an investigation. So the question is whether Palestine can ratify the statute, thereby becoming a party to the ICC.

In 2009, the Palestinian National Authority filed a declaration with the ICC accepting the court’s jurisdiction. In 2012, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state. During the present war, the Palestinian minister of justice and the deputy minister of justice both submitted documents to the ICC indicating that the 2009 declaration is still valid. On Aug. 5, 2014, the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs met with officials from the ICC and inquired about the procedures for Palestine to become a party to the statute.

On July 25, 2014, a French lawyer filed a complaint with the ICC on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister. Citing Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing military operations there, the complaint alleges that Israel committed war crimes and other crimes. The Palestinian government has not formally commented on this complaint.

On July 23, 2014, the UN Human Rights Council established a commission of inquiry into Israeli violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law. The resolution also called on parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene and respond to the alleged violations. That convention requires parties to prosecute violators.

Countries can bring foreign nationals to justice for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity under the well-established doctrine of universal jurisdiction. Genocide charges could also be brought under the Genocide Convention, to which both Israel and the United States are parties. That convention also punishes complicity in genocide; U.S. leaders’ provision of military aid would constitute complicity.

Although the Israeli and U.S. governments continue to maintain that Israel has only acted in self-defense against Hamas’ terrorism, the weight of world opinion points in the opposite direction. There is overwhelming opposition to Israeli aggression in Gaza and calls for justice and accountability.

Both Israeli and U.S. leaders must be criminally prosecuted for committing and aiding and abetting these crimes.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her next book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, will be published in September. [See Cohn’s “US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes.


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By: Nancy Swanson

Over 10 years ago the Pacific Ecologist reported that a Japanese research team uncovered serious discrepancies in safety reports submitted by Monsanto to the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry. The Safety Assessment Application Documents were submitted in order to obtain a safety certificate necessary for the import of genetically modified (GM) soy to Japan. Based on these reports, submitted by JAPAN- MONSANTO, their herbicide-tolerant soybean was approved as food by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare and as animal feed by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1996. The research team reported their findings to Japan’s Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry but received no response.

The Japanese team, led by molecular biologist Masaharu Kawata, University of Nagoya, began with 40 people taking notes by hand over a period of 10 days. This was necessary because the documents, kept at the Food Safety Association, were only available for five hours per day three days per week. Photographing and photocopying were not allowed. The application submitted by Monsanto for Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans consisted of 10 volumes, which piled up to 1 meter high, with much of it in English.



Dr. Kawata claims that Monsanto deliberately misinterpreted and disregarded data in their quest to prove their RR soybean is “substantially equivalent� to conventionally grown soybeans.

“We found a highly intended misinterpretation ignoring obvious data difference between A5403 [conventional] and 40-3-2 [GM] hybrid in the documents.� Analysis of raw soybeans showed no differences, but the toasted soybeans showed a marked difference. After processing at 108℃ for 30 minutes, the concentration of protein and potassium were not changed but the concentration of urease and lectin were significantly higher in the GM soybeans. Urease (an enzyme) and lectin (a protein) are considered harmful, physiologically active substances. Urease enzymes aid in the conversion of urea to ammonia and carbonic acid, which can cause kidney stones and liver problems. Lectin binds to carbohydrates and can cause intestinal problems. These physiologically active substances remained active even after heat treatment in the GM soybean, though those of the conventional soybean were easily denatured and inactivated.

Monsanto decided that the GM soybeans were merely insufficiently heated. They returned the sample to Texas A & M and ordered re-toasting at 220℃ for 25 minutes. “However re-toasting further widened the difference in the activity between the two [soybean] strains. … [A] Scientist would usually conclude in such case that there is substantial difference between the two.â€? But instead Monsanto toasted the GM soybean sample two more times until they got the result they wanted: all proteins were denatured and inactivated. No protein can withstand repeated heat treatment and remain active. With this result, Monsanto concluded that genetically modified and non-modified soybeans are “substantially equivalentâ€? and they finally had the lab tests to “proveâ€? it.

“Monsanto based their argument on their presumption ‘they can’t be different’ and their need ‘there shouldn’t be difference.’ … The English data volume did not show analysis data of third and fourth heat treatment, but the Japanese summary volume, as if there were data, has a graph showing after loss of activity and described that ‘data from insufficient heat treatment is not adopted’ and ‘No substantial difference observed.’ If you review only Japanese summary volume and not look into English data volume, you would be ushered to the conclusion of ‘Safe’.â€?


Exchanging genes between bacteria and plants can sometimes result in the expression of unexpected or undesired proteins. The only way to determine if this has happened is to isolate the proteins and determine the amino acid sequence. The extra proteins that are expressed in the glyphosate-tolerant soybean as a result of the addition of bacteria and virus genes is known as the CP4EPSPS amino acid sequence. Kawata states, “Before inspection we presumed that [the] amino acid sequence of [the GM] soybean CP4EPSPS was determined. However, to my surprise, it was not.� Monsanto determined only 15 amino acids from the N-terminal of the protein, which is expressed in E-coli. They then assumed the rest of the sequence was the same as the known nucleotide sequence of the bacterial DNA, but “only 3.3% of expected total of 455 amino acids was decided, and the protein is not of soybean! ELISA test described in the documents is the only method [used] to verify antigenic equivalence of proteins. But antigenic similarity itself does not prove the amino acid sequences are the same. The true face of CP4EPSPS protein in the soybean that we are taking is still unknown.�


Having assumed the soy protein was the same as the E-coli, they used the E-coli protein in their acute toxicity test

“[The] CP4EPSPS protein used for acute toxicity test on rat also came from that produced by E-coli harboring CP4EPSPS plasmid.â€? Monsanto claimed that it is too difficult to extract the protein from the soybean and that using the protein from E-coli is equivalent. Monsanto does a lot of hand waving around the word equivalent. But according to Kawata, “This is unacceptable because there is a possibility that the inserted gene work differently in soybean than was in the original bacterium, and therefore the expression product may be different from that of soybean. Moreover, according to the application document, 0.238mg of CP4ESPS protein is detected in one gram of genetically modified 40-3-2 soybean, which is enough concentration to extract without problem. This again is the typical ‘All for the conclusion’ approach by Monsanto. This kind of problem could be resolved if all CP4ESPS amino acid sequence in soybean had been analyzed and confirmed equal as the bacterium. The experiment looks like conducted on the presumption that the other soybean proteins are the same as the non-GM soybean as long as the CP4EPSPS is not toxic. If so, this is too easy and one-sided approach. The core of this problem is whether the soybean gene gets affected from insertion of foreign gene or not. The series of experiments described is incoherent on the fundamentals.â€?

Similar slight-of-hand tactics were employed in toxicity tests for insect-resistant Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops, where only the Bt toxin itself was used in the feed and NOT the Bt as expressed in the GM product. This is based on the following faulty logic: a) a potato (or soy) is not toxic; b) if it can be shown that the Bt toxin (or E-coli protein) is non-toxic; then c) the Bt potato (GM soy) is safe. But the genetically engineered Bt potato is neither a regular potato nor is it the Bt toxin, just like salt (sodium chloride) is neither sodium nor chlorine. In fact, Arpad Pusztai published results showing that a GM potato (containing an insecticidal lectin known to be harmless to mammals by itself) does cause harm, for which he lost his funding and thus his job.

Why not just use the Bt potato or the GM soy in the animal experiments? Are they deliberately hiding something? And what’s up with the scientists over at the FDA & the EPA who reviewed these data?

Measured glyphosate levels higher than safety standard

Because the soybean is designed to withstand direct application of glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup), the herbicide residues in the harvested bean will be higher than the conventionally grown soybean. “Monsanto studied in detail how will be the results by changing factors like spraying times, concentration of the active ingredient glyphosate, duration of harvest after spraying, and cultivation places. The data show clearly that the concentration of glyphosate and AMPA (a degraded substance of glyphosate) in forage and hay increase greatly by postemergence application of the herbicide compared to that of conventional preemergence application, although the residual concentration in the plant differed from place to place. The largest value of the combined glyphosate and AMPA was 40.187 ppm in forage which is higher than the US safety standard of 15 ppm in forage and hay in 1994 when FDA and USDA accepted the application documents. The maximum combined concentration of glyphosate and AMPA in soybean seed was 13.178 ppm, which is less than 20 ppm of the US standard at that time. … cultivating Roundup ready soybean may sometimes violates the US safety standard. We found a surprising description in the document to dissolve the problem.â€?

“In final conclusion, Monsanto say that ‘the maximum combined glyphosate and AMPA residue level of approximately 40 ppm in soybean forage resulting from these new uses exceeds the currently established tolerance of 15 ppm. Therefore, an increase in the combined glyphosate and AMPA tolerance for residues in soybean forage will be requested.’ They know very well that adoption of herbicide tolerance crop needs higher safety standards. In effect, the US tolerance standard of combined glyphosate and AMPA in soybean forage was changed to 100 ppm after they approved the genetically engineered soybean.â€?

Samples used in animal tests had not been sprayed with Roundup

The very reason for Monsanto to genetically modify the soybean is for tolerance to Roundup. “But surprisingly enough, our inspection revealed that both the gene modified soybean 40-3-2 strain and conventional strain A5403 were NOT sprayed with Roundup herbicide in their cultivation.� All of the the soybean used in the safety experiments was not sprayed with Roundup. “The reason is not stated in the documents.�

Spraying glyphosate on the soy would have caused biochemical compositional changes which include changes in fatty acid composition among other things. “The data obtained with such samples may be therefore not valid to guarantee safety of soybean that human and animals take in the real life, not just because of the residue glyphosate is a toxin to kill plants by inhibiting plant enzyme EPSPS. Effects on other metabolic pathway must be taken into account particularly when such artificial genes are inserted. For consumers, the test results using different sample than marketed soybean may be meaningless.�

Nevertheless, there were differences noted in the animals in the studies. Kawata reanalyzed Monsanto’s submitted data and found statistically significant differences. For the rat study there were no differences found in the groups fed raw soybean meal. But males in the group fed the toasted GM soybean had 6.7% less body weight than the group fed toasted conventional soybean and 13% less than the group fed a commercial feed mix at the end of 28 days. “Though this difference is described as statistically significant in the data sheet, the conclusion ignores these results and states that ‘no statistical significance is observed.’â€?

“The experiments are far from satisfactory in its sample size and the statistic method used. Our group transcribed all raw data and redid statistical analysis using Turkey multiple method. The result again showed the apparent growth obstacle for the body and kidney weight in male rats group fed with toasted [GM] 40-3-2 soybean. I wondered why there is no such difference in female rats group. The answer to this question seemed to be the amount of the feed intake where male took 25-30g/day, female rats took only 18-20g (approx. 70% of male)/day. It is highly possible that female rats also showed significant growth difference if experiment is conducted in much larger scale and with longer feeding period.�

To summarize:

  1. Monsanto knew that the toasted GM soybean contained extra, unhealthy enzymes and proteins so they subjected the samples to higher heat multiple times until the problem went away and then submitted those test results to prove substantial equivalence.

  2. Monsanto did not bother to determine the entire amino acid sequence in the modified soybean but only the first 15 amino acids. They then made the assumption that the remaining amino acids would be the same as the CP4EPSPS sequence in the bacteria. We still don’t know what the actual expression is in the transgenic soybean.

  3. Based on their assumption in (2), they then used the CP4EPSPS protein from E-coli in their acute toxicity tests for GM soy.

  4. Monsanto knew that the glyphosate residues in forage were higher than allowed so they simply asked the EPA to raise the allowed limit. And the EPA did.

  5. Monsanto knew that there are substantial glyphosate residues in the GM soy and that the glyphosate could cause compositional changes in the soy, yet they submitted samples for animal testing that were never sprayed with glyphosate.

  6. Their safety studies still showed statistically significant differences yet they reported that the differences were not significant.

Monsanto has deliberately manipulated the samples in (1) & (5) and falsified their report in (6). In scientific circles, (1) (5) & (6) would be known as fraud. The methods employed in (2) & (3) are, at best, extremely sloppy. Number 4 just shows how the US government accommodates the biotech industry.

Because Monsanto has invoked patent rights on their GM products, it is illegal for anyone to perform tests on GM crops without prior permission. A 2009 Scientific American article states, “agritech companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta … have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research. Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects. … as a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology. … when scientists are prevented from examining the raw ingredients in our nation’s food supply or from testing the plant material that covers a large portion of the country’s agricultural land, the restrictions on free inquiry become dangerous.â€? The industry controls virtually every aspect of genetic engineering.

Monsanto provided the soybean samples to the Chinese Nutrition and Food Safety Research Institute for a 90-day feeding test required to obtain the safety certificate necessary for importing GM soy into China. “The samples were soybean cake, brown-yellow color, circular-disk shape.� The Chinese institute “did not test for chemical residues or glyphosate residues and they did not even carry out PCR tests on the external transgenic gene of the soybean cake samples provided by the Monsanto Beijing Office. Because the level of residues of glyphosate and its metabolites on the soybean samples are not specified, their contribution to the reported findings cannot be assessed!�

“Although the test found some anomalies, they were reported as being ‘within range of historical control data of this laboratory, thus such deviation has no biological significance.’ This is a pretext invented by Monsanto, which lacks [both] scientific [and legal] definition.â€?

Have all of the toxicology tests for the safety of GM soybeans been conducted in this manner? Has Monsanto provided all of the samples? Have any of them been tested? Is this same procedure used for other GM products?

Toxicology studies using Bt toxins alone, instead of Bt corn or potato, or E-coli proteins alone instead of GM soy protein would be like eating hops to determine the effects of beer. Safety studies on RR soybeans using samples subjected to high heat and never sprayed with Roundup would be like removing the percussion cap from a bullet, testing the bullet for safety and declaring all bullets are the same and therefore safe. Just don’t put them in a gun. Is it any wonder that the results of Monsanto’s safety studies differ from so many other published studies? GMOs are perfectly safe. Just don’t eat them.

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